Thursday, September 25, 2008


Hello all:

I know I have been awfully quiet here lately, which is strange, considering my ability to post nearly every day this summer with next-to-nothing to say, and now, when my life is so rapidly changing, when I am adapting to an entirely new schedule with entirely new goals, I am struck dumb.

I was talking to my father on the phone (you see, with an hour's commute, I often find myself catching up, calling my father at his office, venting to him in ways I don't think I could to anyone else--he is in the unique position of knowing me so well, being a college professor, and wanting to write himself--plus, he is patient and can sympathize, which is often exactly what I need--not a husband who wants to resolve my issues but someone who will lean back and listen)--and I spoke to him about how I have felt very withdrawn, very vulnerable lately. It isn't a cloud of depression following me about, even if my recent posts and thoughts have been very bewilderingly woe-is-me (what am I doing here?!, more like), but I think this is wisest--the quiet standing back, the roving gaze, taking it all in. I am finding my place right now, and it's taking some time. But being quiet, letting it wash over me, I am finding how to fit into this place, and it's beginning to feel more comfortable every day.

I am writing more, which is good, and I am thinking more about my writing, which is even better. I've been thinking about language, especially language-poetry, and though I write mainly what is more often considered narrative/lyrical poetry, I want to infuse it with an awareness of the ways in which simple sounds can convey meaning just as well as a driven thread. There is poet in my cohort of first years (I feel a bit Harry Potter, calling us first years, though I wish we had seven instead of three) who is very interested in syncopation, in rhythm, in the ways in which a poem can appear on the page, in white space, and breath, and these are all things my own poems seriously lack. So I've asked her to advise me in poets to study and she's given me: Sandra Doller, Sasha Streensen, Chelsea Minnis.

This coming weekend is the final annual Cry of the Loon retreat, a regular staple for the U of MN MFAers for years. MDB is the host, and he is in phased retirement, and this is one of the things he is letting go just before he lets go of the university entirely. There is much debauchery planned, I sense, from the emails flying about the in-box, as well as pancakes and a soup night, but also plenty of wine and whiskey, so who knows what will happen? I am bringing a sleeping bag as there seem to be an abundance of double beds, and I am much talented at flailing about and snuggling, and I'm not prepared to do that with these folks just yet, since we recently met and all. It's four hours north of the Twin Cities, deep in the north woods of Minnesota, so you can expect some brilliant fall colors arriving on this blog after the weekend.

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